This weekend I think everyone is going to be contemplating where they were ten years ago, who they were, and how they were. I know I’ve been thinking about it. For weeks, actually. It’s been an interesting decade. If I had imagined my life ten years ago (which, honestly, I didn’t do in more than abstract terms- who does when they’re 21?), I wouldn’t have guessed anything about my life as it is now except that I’m married. I had a vague expectation at the time that I would get married, but made no plans beyond the general idea of it.
Ten years ago, I had just moved to Boston for a semester at a small state college called Bridgewater State University. I had just turned 21, driven up from Georgia (with my Dad taking the trip with me), and left behind UGA, my first love, and the life I knew, just to try something new. I think I was a political science major at this point, the major I ended up graduating with. I had no fear or worries about moving so far away, because it didn’t occur to me to worry about it. In my head, I knew how to take care of myself and I would handle whatever I had to handle as it came my way. I’m sure my parents were nervous, but not half as nervous as they would be less than two years later when I moved to England on my own, to work and travel around Europe.
Ten years ago, if you’d asked me what I wanted to do, I couldn’t have told you. I had no clear purpose in my life yet, nor did I feel anything more than a mild anxiety to decide. In my mind, a college degree of any kind meant that I could find a job that would allow me to support myself. There was no ladder I was looking to climb (in any industry) and no solid goal that I was shooting for. I was almost totally different mentally than I am today.
Ten years ago, I had the same haircut, an eyebrow ring, and was the exact same height I am now. I hated the taste of alcohol. I could still watch horror movies. I had just read the latest Harry Potter book (which was, like, the 3rd one) and my sense of personal style was somewhat unrefined. I’d never cooked a meal more complicated than baked chicken and I still listened to boy bands occasionally. Though I refuse to confirm which one. I had little money and worked several jobs to make ends meet. $30 was a lot of money back then, and Target wasn’t yet the megalith it is today, so buying cheap clothing was difficult. I’d never done a swing out.
Fastforward to now:
Regarding the significance of today for the nation: I can’t watch any dramatization of 9/11. Period. It’s still too much. Yet I can’t conceive of a world without 9/11. I can’t picture where our country would be without two unnecessary wars (and the 3rd ones necessity is debatable) a crushing Recession, or a bloated and vicious political culture based on fear, denial, and theatrics. It’s just so hard to wrap my brain around how the other path would have been.
Most of the people I knew (that are not dancers) have multiple children and are at a fundamentally different place in their lives than I am. I am currently quite content to travel and dance as much as I’m able. Eventually that will change, starting with getting a dog. I’ve got a job I like, a home I’m proud of, a husband I love, roommates I adore, friends who accept me, a car that is reliable, a hobby that challenges and thrills me, and am in good health. Life is good.
The past ten years has seen a lot of change, and it’s fascinating to take it all in. I really can’t think of anything to add right now, so I’ll leave it there since I’m not feeling particularly contemplative anymore.